I hope you all had a blessed Easter.
We had a beautiful day here. It was a little wet in the morning, but eventually it warmed up and a pleasant breeze rolled through.
After our visitors had left, the kitchen was cleaned and the kids were in their middle of a sugar stupor, I escaped outside to read for a while. Sitting on the swing out back, I surveyed the state of our yard and it occurred to me that I could describe it one of two ways.
This was one way:
Sun streamed across the yard. Bunches of violets and clover nestled between long blades of grass. Nearby, children’s toys lay waiting for young hands and feet to swoop them up and continue their carefree games.
Or you could say:
Sun streamed across the yard. The overgrown lawn had weeds choking out what little grass was left. Nearby, children’s toys lay abandoned, cluttering up the area.
Both are accurate and correct descriptions of the state of my lawn. But the first one spins the yard in a positive way while the second focuses on it in a negative light.
It occurs to me that it’s not just lawns we can spin one way or another. Our entire life can be spun to reflect the good or the bad.
After Tom died, I struggled a lot with my identity. So much of what is written about widows paints us in a meek and needy light. The Bible instructs people to care for the widow and the orphan. One of the first suggestions made to people who want to do good in the world is to visit the widows or invite the single mom to dinner.
Now, widows and single moms certainly could use some extra support from the community so I’d hate for anyone to not off this help. However, it does tend to be a constant reminder that widows and single moms are lacking in some way – they have a gap that must be filled by others.
So I struggled for a long time: was I the needy widow going through life dependent on the goodwill of others? Or was I the strong woman forging my own path regardless of the setbacks I might encounter?
For myself, I have decided to frame my life largely on option number two while not entirely turning my back on the first choice. I want to be strong, but I don’t want to be so prideful that I won’t accept help when offered.
What about you?
Do you live a life of adventure, even every day adventure? One full of peril, yes, but also one in which you respond to challenges with strength and determination?
Do you live a life of tragedy? One in which you are helpless against the winds of change and life’s unrelenting obstacles?